Wednesday, August 22, 2007


**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Leica Freedom Train

'Leica Freedom Train' carried more than cameras
Posted: Oct. 9, 2002
I carry my Leica camera a bit more proudly these days.

The reason? A story I had never heard before - a tale of courage, integrityand humility that is only now coming to light, some 70 years after the fact.The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. From a nitpicking point of view, itwasn't the very first still camera to use 35mm movie film, but it was thefirst to be widely publicized and successfully marketed.

It created the "candid camera" boom of the 1930s.

It is a German product - precise, minimalist, utterly efficient. Behind itsworldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, sociallyoriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace,generosity and modesty.

E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany's most famousphotographic product, saved its Jews.

And Ernst Leitz II, the steely eyed Protestant patriarch who headed theclosely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a wayas to earn the title, "the photography industry's Schindler."

As George Gilbert, a veteran writer on topics photographic, told the storyat last week's convention of the Leica Historical Society of America inPortland, Ore., Leitz Inc., founded in Wetzlar in 1869, had a tradition ofenlightened behavior toward its workers. Pensions, sick leave, healthinsurance - all were instituted early on at Leitz, which depended for itswork force upon generations of skilled employees - many of whom were Jewish.

The 'Leica Freedom Train'
As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst LeitzII began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his helpin getting them and their families out of the country.


The New York Times

August 22, 2007
Virginia's Gun Market

The "Iron Pipeline" of Interstate 95 remains alive and deadly, as a newfederal study grimly confirms. Saddest of all is the evidence that some ofthe most far-reaching shady gun marts continue to operate in the state ofVirginia, where the suicidal Virginia Tech student shot 32 people to deathonly four months ago. Virginia dealers have been a standout source for gunsused in crimes up and down the seaboard, according to the federal study.They accounted for half of the 10,000 guns tracked by the study in themetropolitan Washington, D.C., area, and one in 11 in New York City.

Richmond officials deny their gun control laws are porous, particularly nowthat the state announced it was closing the loophole that allowed theVirginia Tech marauder to legally buy guns despite his documented history ofmental disturbance. But for every loophole closed in the wake of the nation's latest gun mayhem - from Columbine to the D.C. sniper, ad infinitum - othersbeg attention in the crazy quilt of state and federal regulations cynicallymanipulated by the gun lobby.


The New York Times

August 22, 2007
Jailed Academic in Iran Is Released on Bail

TEHRAN, Aug. 21 - An Iranian-American academic jailed for more than 100 dayson suspicion of promoting a "velvet revolution" in the Islamic Republic wasreleased on hefty bail on Tuesday, looking tired and much thinner from herordeal but pronouncing herself well.

The academic, Haleh Esfandiari, 67, is among four Iranian-Americans whosearrests have caused tension between Tehran and Washington, with two womennow released on bail and two men still jailed.

It remained murky whether Ms. Esfandiari, the director of the Middle Eastprogram at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars inWashington, would be allowed to leave Iran.

"I feel happy," Ms. Esfandiari told a reporter from Iran's state-runtelevision as she emerged from Evin prison, where she has been held insolitary confinement since May 8. She was wearing a blue head scarf, veilingher hair as required by Iranian law. "Allow me to leave now and I will beeven happier!"

Her release came two weeks after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah AliKhamenei, in a rare occurrence, responded to a June 29 letter appealing forher freedom, according to Lee H. Hamilton, the director of the Wilsoncenter.


The New York Times

August 22, 2007
Lawyer: Scholar Still Faces Iran Charges
Filed at 7:42 a.m. ET

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- An Iranian-American scholar recently released from anotorious prison in Iran still faces charges she endangered the country'snational security and has no passport with which to travel abroad, herlawyer said Wednesday.

Although Haleh Esfandiari has the legal right to leave the country, no newpassport has been issued since authorities seized hers, attorney and NobelPeace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told The Associated Press.

''The next stage is that a date will be set for the trial. I ... will defendher in court,'' said Ebadi. ''I'm certain that my client is innocent and shemust be acquitted of the charges.''

Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow WilsonInternational Center for Scholars, had been held in Evin prison since earlyMay after months of interrogation. Her 93-year-old mother used the deed toher Tehran apartment to post bail late Tuesday, relatives said.


The Washington Post

A Dickens of a President
By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, August 22, 2007; Page A17

We should, I suppose, credit Lynne Cheney's love of the classics, or perhapsWilliam Bennett's tireless efforts to instruct us in the great moral tales.Whatever the reason, it is clear that the Bush administration, in itscampaign to prevent the states from providing health insurance to childrenin families of modest means, has paid careful heed to the following passage(which I abbreviate for reasons of space) from Charles Dickens's "OliverTwist." In it, the plucky young hero has been chosen by the other boys toask the managers of the poorhouse in which they're locked up to increasetheir daily servings of gruel, lest they starve.

He rose from the table; and, advancing to the master, basin and spoon inhand, said:

"Please, sir, I want some more."

"What!" said the master.

"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more." The master aimed a blowat Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked forthe beadle.


The Washington Post

Another Test in Iraq: Our Aid to Refugees
By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, August 22, 2007; A17

The Bush administration correctly asserts that the entire Middle East, fromroyal palaces to terrorist camps, is watching the eventual outcome in Iraqto determine the state of American resolve. But the region is also taking amore immediate measure of America's commitment to its friends: our responseto the Iraqi refugee crisis. And this, too, is a matter of nationalcredibility and honor.

About 2 million Iraqis have been displaced within Iraq by sectarian violenceand contagious fear; another 2 million have fled the country for Syria,Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and beyond. According to the United Nations, a steadyflow of new refugees continues at about 50,000 each month. For the mostpart, these Iraqis are not concentrated in refugee camps but dispersed inpoor urban areas of cities such as Damascus or Amman, making it difficultfor humanitarian agencies to identify and reach them.

The sudden arrival of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis creates tensions --swamping education and health services, increasing prices and provokingsuspicion. According to Kristele Younes of Refugees International, Lebanonhas begun deportations. Some refugees in Jordan are in hiding for fear ofraids. The eventual danger is clear: As some Palestinians have demonstrated,refugee populations can marinate in their grievances, succumb to radicalismand trigger broader conflict.



The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Aug. 22, 2007
Floridians' new reality: There's life after PIP

For 36 years, Floridians have taken for granted that if they suffer frominjuries in a car accident, the first $10,000 in medical and relatedbenefits are automatically covered by the No-Fault law, commonly referred toby the medical benefits portion called PIP, Personal Injury Protection. Insix weeks, when the law is set to expire, Florida will enter a new world.I support the intent of the No-Fault law, which is to ensure that Floridiansreceive medical treatment for injuries they suffer in an auto accidentwithout delay and without the need to file a lawsuit to recover costsrelating to these medical benefits. However, the law, and especially the PIPprovision of the law, has major flaws. A culture of fraud and abuse hasgrown around PIP, one that my fraud investigators fight every day. Medicalcosts are not managed well in the PIP system. Claims for PIP medicalbenefits should not be used to support unnecessary, costly lawsuits.

But the idea behind the law -- the protection of Floridians and theirassets -- is the centerpiece of my role as Florida's chief financialofficer. Although I want to make the No-Fault law and PIP work, there is noindication that the Legislature will address this issue in the upcomingspecial legislative session. Therefore, with the impending sunset of thelaw, I have been working to increase Floridians' awareness about life afterNo-Fault.


Forwarded from Democracy for America
George Bush has done it again. He has sided with insurance and drug company profits over the health and well-being of our nation's children. Late Friday night, the Bush administration released a letter to state health officials that effectively eliminated health insurance coverage for millions of American kids. This underhanded one-size-fits-all cutback limits Florida's ability to cover uninsured kids and cripples any chance of reasonable expansion.¹

What can you do? Let's face it; President Bush isn't going to take your call. On the other hand, when the governor of a state calls, even Bush will listen.

Call Governor Crist right now and demand that Florida stands up to President Bush's anti-children campaign.

Governor Charlie Crist
850 488-4441

Here's what you can say:

"President Bush's new rules which reduce the availability of the Children's Health Insurance Program for uninsured kids must be repealed. Governor Crist must call President Bush today and demand a complete rollback of the new rules. Can I count on the governor to stand up for our kids?"

Please report how your call went here:

This is a very important time. Congress is poised to send an extensive expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Plan to Bush's desk next month, and Bush has already threatened to veto it. If we amp up the pressure now on a rules change they didn't even think we'd notice, we send Bush and Republicans in Congress a clear message that the health of America's children always comes first.

Please call the Governor right now. Your neighbor's kid might be depending on it.

Charles Chamberlain
Political Director


[Send your comments about articles to]


No comments: